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  • POOLAP (Pool Artist Incubating Program) is made possible by the generous support of artist Kim Jung Heun.
    Title : Mistaken Empathy: Delightful Encounter
    Artist : Kang Kiseok, Moojin Brothers, Park Jihye, Shin Jungkyun
    Curator : Kim Mijung
    Space Design: Shin Ikkyun
    Graphic Design: Gyeongtak Kang(
    Exhibition Period : November 24, 2016 (Thu) - December 30, 2016 (Fri)
    Opening Reception : November 24, 2016 (Thu), 6pm
    Opening Performance : Kang Kiseok
    Artist Talk: December 29, 2016 (Thu), 4pm
    Venue : Art Space Pool, Seoul, Korea
    Exhibition Times : 10am ~ 6pm (closed on Mondays)
    Support : Arts Council Korea
    Expectations for “Mistaken Empathy”
    Kim Mijung (Curator, Art Space Pool)
    Mistaken Empathy: Delightful Encounter, Art Space Pool’s last exhibition of 2016, is associated with POOLAP (Pool Artist Incubating Program), a program for young artists of Art Space Pool. POOLAP aims to build an organic platform where education, critique, and exchange of ideas operate and continue. The participating artists of POOLAP—Kang Kiseok, Moojin Brothers, Park Jihye, Shin Jungkyun—has had meetings and conversations with artists and critics who have engaged with Art Space Pool. In a nutshell, ‹Mistaken Empathy: Delightful Encounter› is the final exhibition of a program for the young artist.
    For those reasons, some might make haste guess even before they come to see the exhibition in person; they could assume that the exhibition would provide limited scope by repeating hackneyed perspectives on so-called young artists. In part, such guess makes sense; it is true that participating artists are in their early 30s on average, and it is evident that they are living in the chaotic world that makes no sense, as their works manifest.
    I, however, hoped that the four artists are not simply regarded as “young artists living in a precarious time.” Prematurely made definitions and rash judgments could be where “Mistaken Empathy” arises from, as the title of the exhibition suggests. However, I would rather not be frustrated by such haste misjudgments, since it could lead to some constructive attempts to reexamine the subject, and it could eventually lead to some unexpected answers. I think I saw a hint of the hope in the course of running the POOLAP program. ‹Mistaken Empathy: Delightful Encounter› is an exhibition, but at the same time it is the record of the progress of POOLAP during past six months.
    Loophole of “understanding”
    In order to proceed the program and to make an exhibition, curator, and four artists had to get to know each other as soon as possible. It was about finding the common ground, that is, to reach a mutual understanding. While understanding each other was the biggest task, however, sometimes the idea of empathy or understanding feels futile all of a sudden. This kind of frustration might have been stemmed from the attempts to avoid cliches of exhibition associated with programs for young artists, and aspirations to try to find new approaches. However, I came to suspect if such aspirations had already gone wrong when trying to subsume all the artists under a misfitting theme.
    In fact, there is no exaggerated reflection of reality nor rash declaration or definition in the works of the four artists, nor a clue of positive outlook or nirvana for the future. However, there exist introspection and visual experimentation for their respective concerns and slow repetition of such process. The artists visualize scenes they confronted with or observed: Kang becomes/faces the Other; Shin rearranges symbolized images and events in a mysterious way; Park contemplates on the ontology of artwork that is destined to end up as a mere "object;" and Moojin Brothers builds a stage that shows adversaries in life.
    However, it would be misleading to interpret such attempts as desperation caused by failure, anxiety or fear. Instead, the works serve as a stage where humorous scenarios can be presented. Their concerns started from their personal experiences, however, they address current concerns of everyone who lives through this time of the history. It could be a valuable asset for artists to fully face the problem of oneself and of the society in a severe reality fraught with preposterous stories, missed judgment, and inconsiderate remarks. This is why Mistaken Empathy: Delightful Encounter posits the artists’ attitude as prudent observers as the common denominator and tries to keep away from providing any further nonsensical definitions that could claim to offer a complete understanding of them. 
    In order to understand the “Other,” Kang Kiseok has conducted experiments to mimic, or become the “Other.” Kang’s work shows repetitive self-torture. He has performed as if he cannot see, or hobbles, or as if he was an old lady with dementia. However, given that becoming someone else than yourself is never easy, such experiments almost always seem to fail. In the exhibition, however, instead of becoming others, Kang made a video of the process of dissecting dead animals and reconnects the parts to make them as stuffed specimens. Making both artist and viewers suffered, this action is, in fact, a violence towards both the artists’ ego and the Other. Kang sings a popular song “Cutie Honey” to a baby goat which was once dead but is resurrected—despite only the physical form—and walk it; there arise questions of sacrifice and ethics.
    Moojin Brothers have made video works on the stories of people who live in deprived circumstances. It takes a form of  “story”  that  Moojin Brothers has created, rather than a documentary. ‹Soaring in Transition›, a work presented at the exhibition, takes a tale of “snake child” as a metaphor of digging up lands for the cause of development. The story is passed down in artist’s family, but it also reflects the Korean traditional symbol of a snake as an animal that is in charge of housing sites and misfortune of household. Through the analogy of snake child, Moojin Brothers talk about the phenomenon of a house as a ground for life turning into the subject of investment and development. Some abandoned objects taken from the redevelopment site are installed alongside the video; in it, the camera slowly pans the old and long objects in the shape of a snake. By showing empty shells that symbolizing vestige and fragmented life along with the narration telling the story about snake child, Moojin Brothers asks for reconsideration of the neoliberal viewpoint on land.
    Park Jihye has been grappling with the afterlife of artworks after exhibition finishes: they usually end up in the garbage or in the storage. For Mistaken Empathy: Delightful Encounter, Park presents cubes made from rectangular timber and arrange them according to the sequence of numbers. Made from cheap wood, the cubes will bend and change form over time. Park also took a part of one of her past works and presents in the exhibition; the work is transformed into the moving theaters that viewers can hold and walk around while seeing works of three other artists except for Park. Also, because of its fitting shape, the works are easy to be carried around, and their shape facilitates their “disposal” after exhibition closes.
    Shin Jungkyun has been experimenting interstices of meaning that arise when signs related to serious topics—such as the military, inter-Korean relations, and war—are twisted and humorously transformed. However, Shin has been sometimes misunderstood, or even been investigated by police because of the images uses. Inspired by this experience, Shin made the work for the exhibition that juxtaposes his own experience with the similar experience of his father who was a cabin crew. However, as the information remains vague to the viewers, arranged images are turning into a part of some ideological narratives that viewers perception and preconception has created.
    Delightful misunderstanding
    The materials containing portfolios, interviews, and critiques about participating artists are provided on-site to help viewers to understand where the each of four artists came from, and where they stand on. The materials could help to defer any rash judgment on the artists as well. It is okay if viewers misunderstand, or do not get the objectives of the exhibition. The attempts made by the exhibition will be valid as long as they constantly elicit questions. It is like when you see a pop-up message saying “an error happened while liking the post” when trying to like a post on the internet. When you see the message, you would click the like button—that denotes empathy—again. Such error would create other flows for sure, that can lead to making a space for subverting preexisting definitions.



  • 'Art and Work' is a study group of artists and curators that had gathered in Art Space Pool during the past 6 months. While reflecting on the topography of art and social environment in which 'art workers like ourselves' are living, we have planned projects to work on together. By contemplating on various issues such as contemporary 'social art', art and labor, web environment culture theory, open source and copyright, website building skills, we are in the process of preparing the big frame for a new website that operates through 'technology'. We have created the platform as a public symposium to share what the 'Art and Work' community has come up with. Anyone with an interest is welcome to participate.
    * The symposium discussions will be published and distributed.
    ◆ Program of the Symposium
        1. Used-up Alternatives and 'Art and Work' /  Eunbi Jo
        2. Gendered Web Territory, Struggle of the 'Female Maniac League'
           / Sooyoung Kim
        3. Do-it-yourself x Open Source / Dayeong Choi
        4. Telekommunist Manifesto, the Making of the Artists' Sharing Domain
           / Donghyun Gwon
        5. Proposing a Technology Knowledge Website / Dongkyu Kim
    ◆ Members: Donghyun Gwon, Dongkyu Kim, Sooyoung Kim, Ikkyun Shin,
                       Jiwon Lee, Yongsuk Jeon, Eunbi Jo, Narae Jin, Dayeong Choi
    ◆ Date: 30thNovember, 2014(Sun) 4-6pm
    ◆ Venue: Art Space Pool(Segeomjeong-ro, 9-gil 91-5, Jongno-gu, Seoul)
    ◆ Contact: 02-396-4805 / (Please contact us for
                      participation until midnight, 29thof November.)
    ◆ Host: Art Space Pool, Art and Work
    ◆ Organizer: Korean Artists Welfare Foundation
    ◆ Sponsor: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
    ≪Preface, Art and Work Document≫  
    ‘Art and Work’ is the name of a study group composed of 9 young artists and curators who had gathered in Art Space Pool during the past 6 months. While reflecting on the topography of art and social environment in which 'art workers like ourselves' are living, the members of the group have planned projects to work on together. Alternative space and the flow of public art, art and labor, feminism, culture theories surrounding 'surplus' and the Web, the birth of Web and its development, website building skills, and technoculturecriticism were the main themes that we have studied together. Along with the studies, we have continued our discussions on the building of a homepage 'operable' in the public realm of the art field. As the answer for the questions brought out from the notion of what surrounds art and oneself, 'Art and Work' decided to create a new website that operates through 'technology' in the broad sense.
    This document contains the various themes that were on the table of our study process, not without difficulties. There are 10 pieces contributed by members and the draft proposals of the website planning process.
    Eunbi Jo reveals the dilemmas and worries she had while working as curator of an alternative space, under the title 'Used-up Alternatives and Art and Work'. Analyzing the issues unleashed by young artists and diagnosing the weakened state of 'alternative culture movement', she proposes opening a new 'ground' as a form of new existence. Dongkyu Kim's 'Professional and Layman, and (Non-)Professional' talks about the fundamental proposal for the artist's profession and social role, in a corner of the discourse on art and economy. Jiwon Lee expresses in ' and Work', what she felt as administrative manager of Art Space Pool while hosting the study group program, the issues of reality in 'work environment' in the broad sense. Sooyoung Kim begins with the  'discourse of surplus' which arose based on the phenomenon of web culture and explains the process of a certain web territory relating with reality through the example of a certain fandom case in 'Gendered Web Territory, Struggle of the Female Maniac League'.
    Narae Jin who works on collage-writing works, attempts to perform acrobatic expression in between the 'total crisis' situation as an artist living under neo-liberalistic conditions. 'Total Crisis, and Zig-Zag' tells the chain of worries that were created during the process. Dayeong Choi's  'Do-it-yourself x Open Source' presents the notion of Open Source, as the basis to expand the discussion on our material condition and realization onto the horizon of the Web. Major notions of sharing culture based on open source and the ideals of the Web are dealt with. Donghyun Gwon introduces the discourses in Dmytri Kleiner's 'The Telekommunist Manifesto' and talks about guidelines for leftist actions on the Web to resist the reality where the past Web values of 'common production and sharing' are eaten up by capitalism. Furthermore, continuing in the line of multi-layered discussions about copyright issues of creative labor, Gwon proposes ideas for 'Creating Artists' Sharing Domain' on the Web. Ikkyun Shin's Essay on 'Production-Technology' is a description of technical know-how that the author obtained first-hand during the process of production; it portrays the technical aspect which comprises the work of an artist. It is one of the examples of showing technical know-how in the broad sense that are expected to be shared through the website.
    Finally, you can find the blueprint of the website which will be operated based on the technology that suggests. Following Dongkyu Kim's contribution on the meaning of 'technology' understood by artists encountering the media environment and his expectations toward the experience of achievement enabled by 'sharing' technology, draft proposals of the website are presented. After numerous meetings, some ideas were accepted or omitted for various reasons during the planning of the identity of the website.
    This document assembles the itinerary of the study group which approached the issues in multi-facets in order to solve 'my' problem, or to find the 'engine power' that would boost energy in the lethargic art field. We hope these contributions will become the foundation stones for the upcoming website and more concrete discussions in the next step.


  • I. Project Descriptions
    INTERFERENCE is a 3 year (2010-12) research and development project that will result in a modern and contemporary Korean art criticism text archive, initiated by Art Space Pool, and developed in collaboration with Asia Art Archive (AAA) in Hong Kong as a contribution to the anthology project.
    . Project Objectives
    An archive, in any field, at any degree of specialty, is a starting, ending, and returning point of all activity. In exchange and collaboration between regions in art, an archive is a window, map and mirror of the regional context providing a general frame of reference throughout the whole course of inter-regional communication. Korean art, in this regard, has been exposed to the international art scene, only as temporary data, objects, and phenomena scattered around, rarely buttressed by the backbone of an archive, which functions to make the vibrant aesthetic narratives of the region like a myriad of dots in nowhere. aims to create the kind of archival content that includes information that is structured as a specific archive, rich with contextual knowledge, accessible to international viewers. as an archive will strategically focus upon art criticism texts, because art criticism is one of the best elements providing an overview of the intellectual history of the context of art in the region and at the same time, to facilitate contemporary utilization of the knowledge for various forms of application in art.
    An archive should be an open platform allowing and provoking interaction with itself, unless it wants to remain an archaic monument. An archive of art criticism texts particularly risks falling into the pitfall of prestigious historiography or art historical dictionary book. will be an archive with productive relevance to contemporary art practices, built by those who practice in the field on the border between global and local. The editorial board of this project should be those who are active both in and out of the local and global contemporary art scenes; and who maintain dual careers as critics and curators. Board members are responsible for building a bibliography of candidate’s texts; setting up a structure among the criticism according to the criterion of his/her perspective and selecting final texts; and writing a new essay about his/her selections. is a combination of an historical archive and a contemporary archive of new commissioned writings by multiple writers. In the end, builds an archive and interferes with the stolid ground of the archive by expanding a single historiographic narrative into a dynamic configuration of multiple perspectives.
    . Project Line-up
    - Project Director: Heejin Kim (Director of Art Space Pool)
    - Project Curator & Editor: Yumi Kang (2012 Program, Independent Editor)
    - Project Curators: Sohyun Ahn (2011 Program, Independent Curator)
                                      Jinjoo Kim (2010 Program, Independent Curator)
    - Project Coordinator: Jiyoung Jung
    - Editorial Board:
      Kim Jong-gil (Curator of The Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art)
      Hyunjin Kim (Independent Curator, Curator of 2008 Gwangju Biennale)
      Sohyun Ahn (Curator of Nam June Paik Art Center)
      Binna Choi (Director of CASCO Office for Art, Design and Theory)
      Seewon Hyun (Independent Curator, Art Theory)
    - Proofread & Review : Kil Ye-kyung (Freelance Art Translator)
    - Research Fellow: Sunghee Lee (AAA Researcher for Korea)
    - Sponsors: Arts Council Korea (2010-2012)
                           Seoul Foundation (2010)
                           Foundation for Arts Initiatives (2012)
    - Collaborating Partners: Asia Art Archive
    Comparative Contemporaries (A Web Anthology Project) by Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong & The Substation, Singapore
    . Project Timeline
    - Jan. – July 2012
    Conceptual Digest of the Archive by Researchers
    Copyright Clearance for Publication
    Text to Digital Conversion
    - Aug. – Oct. 2012
    English Translation of Highlighted Texts & 4 New Meta-Criticism Texts
    - Oct. – Dec. 2012
    Book Design and Book Launch (published by ‘forum a’, Seoul, Korea)
    AAA Online Launch at
    Public Lecture Series <Pulse of Conflicts> (5 Sessions)


  • Publisher Forum A announces the publication of the book Trans-Theatre, produced in conjunction with siren eun young jung's 2015 solo exhibition Trans-Theatre that took place at Art Space Pool, Seoul. This book represents the culmination of the artist's Yeoseong Gukgeuk Project, which she carried out over a period of 7 years, from 2008 to 2015. Yeoseong gukgeuk is a genre of Korean opera and musical theatre performed exclusively by women. It emerged in the late 1940s and became a popular performance genre in the 1950s post-Korean War period.
    The book Trans-Theatre incorporates texts extracted and modified from the artist's doctoral thesis, "The Politics of Gender and the Aesthetics of Dissensus: With a Focus on the Yeoseong Gukgeuk Project," and they discuss not only a brief history of yeoseong gukgeuk but also its socio-political context-one that spurred the development of this subject into an art project-through the lens of the relationships between yeoseong gukgeuk and performance theory and gender politics. Furthermore, texts authored by an aesthetics scholar, curator, gender researcher, and art critic attempt to analyze and evaluate Yeoseong Gukgeuk Project from diverse perspectives that examine the project's contexts, concepts, media, sentiments, and positions, among other facets. Last but not least, the book includes multiple exhibition views of the Trans-Theatre exhibition, cherished photos from yeoseong gukgeuk performers' personal albums, and captivating scenes from Yeoseong Gukgeuk Project's performances and exhibitions.
    Publisher: Forum A
    Texts: siren eun young jung, Hyosil Yang, Young Ok Kim, Tari Young-jung Na, Haejin Pahng, Sohyun Ahn
    Translation: Soo Ryon Yoon, Jiwon Yu, Sunghee Lee
    Editorial Supervision: Sohyun Ahn
    English Proofreading: Joseph Fungsang, Sunghee Lee
    Design: Hyejin Yeo
    Photography: Sang Tae Kim, Cheongjin Keem, Gim Ikhun, Cheolki Hong
    Printing: Munsung Printing
    Supported by: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korea Arts Management Service, Sindoh Artist Support Program, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC, Art Space Pool, Forum A
    Price: KRW 25,000 / USD 25

Gugi salon

  • Pool Public
    With an in-depthperspective to the public, Art Space Pool starts a new business, Pool Public and Pool Edition, to create a new 'art public', diversify art market, and construct local cultural environment.
    Pool Public aims to circulate, bridge artworks in community and build local culturalenvironment by partnership with prominent professionals from a private art scene. For an efficient process and management of the project, Pool Public focuses on core contents selected by a prudent evaluation, without making any affiliation with other relevant institutions. More importantly, Pool Public presents Pool Edition which is a closed collection of artists and artworks as well as its management business.
    We expect Pool Public to be a channel actively used among private culture supporters, not relying on system-led enlightenment campaigns or volunteer works. Also, we believe any place where those who love art and culture meet and interact will become the ‘Art Town(art community)’.
    Weask your continuous interests and supports toward Pool Public’s throughout the year of 2013.
    Pool Public
    Date : 15. Feb. 2013 – 30. Apr. 2013
    Location : Café Eungabi
    Address : 241-1 Shinyoungdong Jongnogu (heading Gugi tunnel from Sinyoung Samgeori, next to Kookmin bank Segumjung branch)
    Opening Hour : Mon-Fri (09:00-20:00), Sat-Sun (11:00-20:00)
    Contact : 02)394-0507
    * parking space available in the rear of the building
    Followed by Itaewon CCUULL and CCUULL POOL which will be closed in March, 2013, the first public program, , is launched in Gugidong where the Pool headquarter is located. The current project is initiated by a call from a couple who has a café named Eungabi having lived in Gugidong for about 6 years. The couple invited us to change their cafe into a gallery café. Now Pool is introducing ‘Pool Edition(an artist and artworks)’ with two months circulation at café Eungabi gladly offering a space as a Pool’s partner. Meanwhile Pool is now attempting to meet various art community of Buamdong-Pyeonchangdong-Gugidong neighborhood where has been attended to as a cultural and national park area in Sadaemoon(the four main gates in Seoul). As the first showcase of the project, we present 11 artworks of An Gyungsu.
    Artist : An Gyungsu (1975, based in Seoul), BFA Oriental Painting, Dangook University. MFA Oriental Painting, Hongik University. Joongang Fine Arts Prize-Excellence award. SongEun Art Award-Participation award.


  • Where the ends meet

    2013. 11. 28 - 2014. 01. 05

    Galerie Houg Art Contemporain, Lyon (43 Rue Auguste Comt 69002 lyon)
    Commisaire d'exposition Heejin KIM
    Young Min MOON
    siren eun young jung
    Sangdon KIM
    RHO Jae Oon

    L’exposition présente une vingtaine d’oeuvres des 6 artistes contemporains coréens les plus actifs à ce jour, en Corée et à l’étranger. Ces oeuvres sont nées des interrogations portées sur la civilisation matérialiste moderne et la sagesse humaine, rapport brutalement remis en lumière après la catastrophe de Fukushima, ainsi que d’une remise en question de la conscience sociale sur la situation géopolitique dans laquelle la Corée se trouve actuellement. L’art coréen, doté d’un caractère original, occupe une place particulière dans le paysage artistique est-asiatique. Alors que d’ordinaire les arts du continent asiatique se reflètent par un mélange des liens étroits qu’ils possèdent avec la tradition et de l’essence des sociétés contemporaines, la Corée, de par le conflit idéologique qui la divise depuis les années 50, puise dans la politique moderne une inspiration majeure, véritable source de création artistique. Surtout ce pays où coexistent le paradigme idéologique du siècle dernier et la haute technologie du futur, l’idéalisme féodal et l’industrie globale de hallyu*, la course à la vitesse et la division territoriale, la mémoire du colonialisme et la modernisation hâtive pourrait être considéré comme l’un des carrefours où se font face d’une manière extrême tous les désirs humains fondamentaux. 


    A cela s’ajoute une réflexion sur l’orgueil de la civilisation humaine et la fausse conscience de l’homme, réflexion faite par les témoins de cette catastrophe nucléaire et du désastre naturel qui a bouleversé terre et mer. Leur pensée sur la civilisation matérialiste parvient à convoquer les valeurs morales essentielles, certes ternies dans le monde moderne, mais qui subsistent en tant que formes et icônes. Ces artistes redécouvrent les signes et symboles moraux dans la vie quotidienne contemporaine et les reconstruisent dans un contexte nouveau. 


    Qu’est-ce que le respect ? Qu’est-ce que la sublimité de la nature qui peut provoquer jusqu’à l’oubli de soi ? Quelle illumination métaphysique apporte sur notre quotidien la vie et la mort ? Que sont l’élégance et la justice ? Dans leurs oeuvres, nous pourrons découvrir ces pensées philosophiques et anthropologiques, intrinsèquement liées à notre réalité. 


    Bien que cette exploration de l’art contemporain coréen puisse paraître comme un idéalisme métaphysique, du point de vue plastique, il garde cependant sa vitalité et sa jovialité, de par son ironie, son imagination auto-référentielle excentrique et sa conscience dynamique de la réalité : re-fabriquer les symboles mythiques à partir des matériaux quotidiens, redécouvrir le merveilleux de la nature par l’intermédiaire du cinéma, ou encore réapprendre la posture héroïque dans une répétition théâtrale. Si la dimension conceptuelle des oeuvres se développe d’une manière complexe dans une structure fléchie à plusieurs plis, au niveau plastique, l’ «idée » métaphysique et le quotidien concret se confrontent d’une manière « funky » et tangible. Tout en se basant sur l’attitude éthique qui permet de redécouvrir les nobles valeurs morales, elles font preuve de franchise anti-autoritaire en se permettant l’audace de les exprimer dans une grammaire quotidienne, dans un système de pensée original qui articule corps-sensation-média-quotidien d’une façon synthétique. 


    * La Hallyu est une vague culturelle d’origine sud-coréenne. Elle fut tout particulièrement connue en Chine à partir du début des années 1990. Leterme fut popularisé par les médias de Pékin en référence à la rapidité de diffusion de la culture sud-coréenne du divertissement. Que ce soit au niveaunational ou supra-national, les téléséries sud-coréennes abordent généralement des thèmes universels tels l’amour, la famille ou la piété filiale dansun contexte de chamboulement technologiques et de valeurs. Le recours à la violence et les références à la sexualité y sont généralement très limitées.


    Curatée par Mme Heejin KIM (Director of Art Space Pool)

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The website production was made possible by the patronage of Haegyu Yang.